The difficult road: FMCG to IB

Hi folks! Hope you are all doing fine.

Here for your valuable opinions & recos.

I'm from Turkey and graduated from the best uni of the country with a double major in Economics & Industrial Engineering. I have been always a huge fan of finance and was into investing on my own as well. However, having graduated right in the middle of the COVID-19 I started my career in FMCG and worked at the top brands for 1.5 years.

Having the early realization that I needed to move finance from hobby level into a career path, I decided to leave for Germany and do a master's there. In October 2022, I started to a master's program called Management and Technology at Technical University Munich. It's like an ordinary management masters supplemented with tech/development courses. Although there are some finance courses offered, they are mainly powerpoints and memorization stuff. Alumni is not very big on finance, neither.

I have been looking for some internships and working student positions in IB or corporate finance boutiques in Munich for a while but my search hasn't been very successful. I generally come across the typical hurdles like (i) having no previous experience in finance, (ii) employers questioning a transition from FMCG to finance and (iii) German skills and citizenship (I'm B2 in German and can talk on operational level but comps are generally looking for native speakers). My observation is that finance, regardless of the arm, is pretty closed for outsiders in Germany where most of the companies look like the Nationalmannschaft with max 1-2 non-Germans or non-EUs. To be honest, I don't care about Germany and I am quite open for moving out for other countries.

I am quite aware of the fact that life in IB is not really very glamorous but I am quite OK with no WLB in early years, menial tasks like PPT alignments and toxic cultures as longs as I kick-start my learning curve at a point before hitting 30s (currently 27). My long term goal is to jump aboard on PE and have a hands-on investing-oriented career. I really enjoy investing and not lured only by the compensation and benefits.

I'd be more than happy if I could get your inputs on:

  • What would be the optimal path for me to do at this point? How can I make my case stronger?

  • People tend to suggest me to consider UK as I'd be ruling out the language barrier. However, IB is also very attractive & competitive there. Do you think if I would have a chance?

  • As I am getting older probability of this kind of transition seems to fade every day for me. Should I really be worried about my age?

Many thanks!

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